PhotoShop Lesson: Add Pop to Your Photos

Objective: In this lesson you will apply special effects to photos by de-emphasizing the background in different ways.

  Photo with effect   Photo with blur effect

  1. Open or paste a picture.
  2. Use the Rectangular Marquee to select the portion to be framed.
  3. Choose SELECT/Transform Selection. 
    Then point to a corner and tilt it about 5 to 8˚
  4. Click Apply or press ENTER
  5. Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer.
    Now look on your Layers palette and notice that the top layer is a cut-out.
  6. To add a stroke and drop shadow to the top layer, choose LAYER/Layer Style/Stroke.
    - Change Color to white
    - Change Position to Inside
    - Change Stroke to about 9px

    - Then add a Drop Shadow (About 130˚ places the shadow on the right/bottom.)
  7. To add the darkened effect, click on the bottom layer.
  8. Choose IMAGE/Adjustment/Levels.  Slide the Shados/dark level over to about 160 .

  9. Try different effects:
    • Undo the Levels effect.
      Then choose IMAGE/Adjustment/Desaturate (you now have a grayscale background)
    • Undo the Desaturation effect. Then choose FILTER/Radial Blur. Set to 36 and Zoom.